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The Journal Gazette

Friday, October 18, 2013 5:03 pm

Woman's death linked to Legionnaires' outbreak

By MIKE STOBBEAP Medical Writer

Health officials say a death has now been linked to a Legionnaires' disease outbreak in northwest Alabama.

All 13 lab-confirmed cases have been tied to a Florence nursing home in the outbreak that was detected this month. Ten were residents. Three were visitors.

The count includes a woman in her 80s who died in a Tuscaloosa hospital on Thursday. State health officials did not name the woman, but said she had been a visitor to the Glenwood Healthcare nursing home.

Legionnaires' disease is a bacterial infection that can cause deadly pneumonia. It does not spread from person to person. Instead, people get it from inhaling contaminated mist or vapor. Tainted shower water, air conditioning systems or whirlpool spas are among the ways bacteria get in the air.